2017 was a disappointing year for many veg in the garden, not the least of which were the peppers.
The season started off well – in fact, the pepper transplants were the largest and most robust that I had ever grown:
|Pepper transplants in 2017|
One thing that I DIDN’T do was use a heat mat after the seedlings germinated. In 2016 I kept the seedlings on the heat mat until I potted them up (at which point I removed the mat) but last year I grew many more ornamentals which meant that I ran short of mats and the seedlings had to go without.
Now would the transplants have been even better had I kept them toastier? Perhaps, but I’m more than happy with the results that I did get so I’ll be doing the same thing this year.
|Peppers after transplanting|
But the added shade wasn’t the only issue as even the grow bags that were in full sun didn’t fare much better. In fact, at least 75% of the peppers in the grow bags ended up in the compost due to slug damage or rotting caused by slug damage.
|I count 2, possibly 3 slugs in this photo...|
As for varieties, I’m growing a total of 17 this year, concentrating more on the sweet rather than the hot.
Sweet: Jimmy Nardello, Melrose, Stocky Red Roaster, Carmen, Chervena Chushka, Feher Ozon, Odessa Market, Shishito
Hot: Hungarian Hot Wax, Italian Pepperoncino, Anaheim, Lu Mei
Sweet: Fiariello, Antohi Romanian
Hot: Ancho, Joe Parker and Aji Golden*
*Super excited to try this gorgeous pepper generously provided by Dave from Our Happy Acres.
As usual, I started my peppers in February and so far so good. Out of 32 pots, I am only waiting on germination from two more. It’s getting a bit late in the game, but I’m not worried as I always sow one or two extra seeds for each variety. Even if the stragglers don’t come up, I’ll be able to sub out another variety.
|Extra Jimmy Nardello seedlings, just in case|
I love seeing all that green under the grow lights at this time of year – my optimism for the coming season overfloweth 😀